HENDERSON, Nev.-The Las Vegas Raiders were in desperate need of a quarterback who understood the Josh McDaniels system once he arrived in Las Vegas.
That is why it didn't take long for them to pull the trigger on the young Texan from Stephenville, in a trade with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
He spoke recently after training camp practice and you can watch the entire press conference below, and read the transcript:
QB Jarrett Stidham
Q: What are the birthday plans?
Stidham: "Birthday plans? Football. That's the beauty of my birthday. I can't remember the last time I had a birthday without playing football. That's my favorite thing to do outside of hanging with my family, so yeah it's great."
Q: Going back to the offseason, did you have an inkling that you were going to get traded and that it was going to be to the Raiders?
Stidham: "No, I mean I went into the offseason - right after the season I was like, 'Okay, I'm going into my last year of my rookie contract,' and Mac Jones and I were the only two on the roster. Then they brought in (Brian) Hoyer and then ended up drafting another quarterback. I was fully set on just competing and going in there and seeing what I can do and just playing, but obviously it happened there sometime in May. It was obviously a thrill that it was to here because I've been with Zig (Dave Ziegler) and Josh (McDaniels) and Mick (Lombardi) and Carm (Carmen Bricillo) and Bo (Hardegree) and all those guys for the last couple of years. So, I was happy to come here and be a part of this organization."
Q: Was a call like that with Bill Belichick?
Stidham: "It was great. I was in there working out one morning and Bill brought me in to his office and just said, 'Hey, we're gonna trade you to Vegas to Josh and them, and I really appreciate you and everything you've done here,' and I thanked him just being able to play for those guys and a part of that organization. It was a blessing coming out of college. So, it was a great conversation."
Q: This team is learning how Josh McDaniels teaches and how he spends an inordinate amount of time doing that. How valuable does he use film like that last game to go back and really teach the intricacies of the system?
Stidham: "Oh, big time. I mean Josh is a huge film guy. I had to obviously learn that coming into the league three or four years ago, whatever it was. I mean it's a great teaching tool because out there on the field you can try to see things and coach up - and even as players we talk about things on the field as well, but once you're able to get in a room and sit there and talk about it and rewind and fast forward, rewind and fast forward, you can kind of see other things that you may have missed out on the field. So, being able to use those as teaching moments is huge I know for my development and I'm sure for others as well."
Q: What has your football journey been like from Stephenville to Waco, Auburn, New England, now here? How's that been for you?
Stidham: "It's been great. I wouldn't change a thing. I was very fortunate to grow up in a place like Stephenville where it's blue collar, you just work really hard and usually we win a lot of games. Just very fortunate to be from a place like that. And then going into college, Baylor, Auburn, it's been a lot of fun. Obviously playing the last three years in New England and now here it's been a blessing, I would wouldn't change a thing."
Q: You mentioned that you're going into to the fourth year of your contract and you come to a situation where Derek (Carr) is the established starter here. So what becomes your goals, objectives especially when you think about your future where you might not be getting starter time reps in games?
Stidham: "I think my biggest focus right now is just to compete every single day with these guys, push all of them as much as I can and help them along the way and just compete and play ball. I mean that's all I can focus on right now, it's all I can control. I'm happy to finally be healthy and just be back out there on the field and just playing football, so it's a lot of fun."
Q: You mentioned being healthy and just the time that you were out and away from the game. What was that like for you from a mental standpoint trying to get back to full health?
Stidham: "Whenever you're in a situation like that, you just try to make the most of it. It's terrible. Not playing football is one of the worst things for a football player to do. So my biggest thing was off the field I was trying to do as much as I can just to keep my mind going offensively and stuff like that throughout last year and obviously working my tail off to get healthy and get back in the swing of things. I think last November, I was good to go and it's been great since. So yeah, it's definitely tough not being able to go out and practice and play and all those sorts of things, but you just try to make the most of it and pick up where you can."
Q: What were some of those things you tried to do to keep your mind right and focus on what's ahead when you were out and couldn't play?
Stidham: "To me, looking at last year - and this has been really the last three years. I haven't been the starter, but I've always tried to prepare like I'm the starter. I was on PUP for the first half of the season or whatever it was last year. Same thing, I just prepared like I was a starter. Wasn't practicing, wasn't obviously playing or anything, but just to still kind of keep in my same routine all those types of things, just trying to keep it the same."
Q: What was your birthday like, last year at this time? Because you were probably still coming back from your injury.
Stidham: "I think I was back in New England. I had surgery like 10 days prior or whatever it was, but I was back in England just rehabbing and getting to watch practice. That's pretty much the birthday last year."
Q: How would you assess how you did in the Hall of Fame game?
Stidham: "Definitely some things to work on. Just try to learn from the film as best I could and take the teaching moments from Josh and Bo and Mick and those guys and try to come out here today and work on some of those things and try to progress forward for this week."
Q: Can you take us through that touchdown play where you ran in? What did you see? How excited were you to get your first touchdown?
Stidham: "Yeah, it was great. Basically all 21 other guys were running left, to my left, and I just ran right and it's just kind of how it worked out. So I was happy about it."
Q: Did you do know a bomb was coming on the first play, kind of a tip of the cap to Cliff Branch going into the Hall of Fame?
Stidham: "Yeah we talked about it before the game and said that was going to be the first play, so we're just going to see what happens. But I got hit on that play, it ended up going into Key's (Keelan Cole) hands, and I was not necessarily throwing it to him, but I think the football gods kind of took the ball and placed it in his hands on that play. So it was good."
Q: We talked about your life changing from one year to the other, but in addition to football and getting traded to Vegas, I saw you had your first kid too, congratulations. How hectic has that been all this offseason in the span of a few months dealing with all that?
Stidham: "So we had the baby April 1st. Fast forward basically a month later I got traded. So then I came out here by myself for the rest of the OTAs and the offseason program. So in the middle of having a newborn, me getting traded, coming out here living by myself, my wife back in New England by herself, moving across the country. Putting all this stuff together, it was kind of three major life changes all at once, but we made the most of it and it's been a huge blessing. Having a kid is the best thing in the world."
Q: How much of your job here has been kind of just helping the other guys in your quarterback room learn the system, having that understanding already that you have?
Stidham: "I've tried to be as helpful as possible because I know like when I was in Chase's (Garbers) shoes my rookie year, Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady, these guys really helped me in the offense and just learn how to be a pro. That's what I've tried to help with Chase and then obviously with Nick (Mullens) and Derek (Carr), those guys being vets, just trying to help them as much as I can with little things here and there within the offense and that sort of thing. And that goes along with anybody really, running backs, tight ends, receivers, O-line, I just try to help out as much as I can where I can."
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